With over 400 churches and 17,000 students, the new Crossroads: Hometowns — an online alternative summer camp — has reached more people than ever.
Crossroads Summer Camps, a ministry of Clayton King Ministries, typically operates summer camps on the campus of Anderson University each summer. With the COVID-19 pandemic, this year is different.
“This was our 25th anniversary of Crossroads Summer Camps, and we had already signed up 5,600 kids — a new record for our summer camps,” King said. “Then COVID hit and we cancelled the camps. We were preparing to reach more people than we ever had in a summer. So we prayed and asked God to help us reach even more people.”
During that time, the staff came up with the concept of Crossroads: Hometowns.
The idea was to make available to churches a way to conduct summer camp at home. The online package includes fun, engaging, gospel-centered content that includes sermons, morning devotions, morning hype videos, activities, pre-recorded worship music, and tournaments. Crossroads is offering the material free to churches and groups.
“It is very user-friendly, and churches can use it any way they want — weekly, one week like a typical camp, or space it out any way they want,” King said. “We researched this and found that nobody in America was doing this — a full youth camp experience. The response has been so amazing — beyond anything I could ask or imagine.”
In order to get the Hometowns package, all that is needed is an email address at sign-in. The material can be accessed and downloaded through the web or Dropbox and is available at Crossroadssummercamp.com or claytonkingministries.com. The material is offered at no cost.
King said the reason they did this — especially offering it free to churches — is that many churches simply cannot do a camp because the staff is exhausted, lack of tech skills, not enough volunteers, low finances, etc. “We love the local church and want to do anything we can to help out,” he said.
In the three weeks following the launch of Hometowns, Crossroads had tripled the number of students that had pre-registered for the regular summer camp. King added, “I think we will have over 20,000 by the end of August. Some churches are doing their camps in August, and the material will be available until Labor Day.”